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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hudna with Hamas?

The Jerusalem Post is reporting, based on reports in two Arab newspapers, that Israel has agreed to a thirty-day hudna with the Hamas terrorist organization. But did it? Apparently even according to the Arab media it's subject to some preconditions that are unlikely to ever take place. This afternoon a Katyusha rocket slammed into Ashkelon once again. And to be blunt, the 'hudna' is a bad idea anyway. Here's the JPost report:
Israel is demanding that a formal calm with Hamas be preceded by a 30-day "feeling the pulse" period, the London-based daily Al-Quds al-Arabi reported Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, the demand was presented to Egyptian officials by Amos Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau.

The report quoted a "senior Palestinian source" as saying that if the 30-day period proves successful, Israel will assent to the Egyptian calm initiative, including the cessation of ground and air attacks in the Gaza Strip and refraining from retaliating for the terror attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva last week.

Another London-based pan-Arab daily, Al Hayat, quoted an Egyptian source as saying that the specific Israeli conditions for the 30-days test period included a complete halt of rocket attacks against Israel and on construction of smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border.

According to the source, Gilad emphasized that Israel agreed to the calm on the condition that it would not be used by Palestinians for rearmament.

Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Aiman Taha, told Al-Hayyat that the organizations still maintains that the calm should be mutual, simultaneous and all-inclusive. He said that Hamas's conditions included extending the calm to the West Bank, opening the border passes and ceasing assassination of Palestinian targets.

On Monday, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak emphatically denied there was any kind of negotiating process with Hamas, and insisted that the IDF "retained its freedom of action" in the Strip.
Could Olmert and Barak be lying? Olmert sure could be:

And Barak? A little less likely but possible. Or more likely there could be 'negotiations' to which he is not a party or is not aware. And besides, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen doesn't care for Barak, making it more likely that Barak is being left out of the loop:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Jordanian reporters in Amman Tuesday that "a top Israeli official is sabotaging the peace talks with Israel over internal matters and due to a personal hostility towards me."

One of the Jordanian reporters who published the story said that Abbas was referring to Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


On Monday, Abbas contradicted Barak's earlier statement and said that a ceasefire had been reached between Israel and Hamas. Abbas' statement came only a few hours after Barak said that no such cease fire had been agreed to.

Abbas also said Monday that Hamas leaders wanted to reach a ceasefire because they feared for their lives.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied Abbas' claims on Tuesday, saying that "these remarks are nothing but lies aimed at damaging Hamas's image."

"Hamas leaders seek martyrdom and would never bargain over the blood of their people like others do," Abu Zuhri said.
Heh. But what about the hudna story. Could it happen? Well, what I highlighted in the JPost article are some of the reasons I don't expect it to happen. There won't be a halt to rocket attacks for thirty days - as I noted above there already was a Katyusha in Ashkelon today.
Complete halt to constructing tunnels? The 'Palestinians' won't be used for rearmament? And then add Hamas' 'conditions'? You have to be kidding.


At 8:00 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's no doubt Ehud Olmert agreed to a hudna of some sort. But what is certain, in the wake of the rocket attack on Ashkelon this morning, that Hamas won't keep it - or it will choose to keep in a way that won't allow Olmert to claim he's brought peace and quiet to the southern front.


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